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Hansel and Gretel capture US moviegoers; Parker, Movie 43 flop

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters proved a modest success, premiering at number one in the US with $19 million.

The latest fairytale to test out its appeal to adults with a dark spinoff, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton earned the top spot at the US box office on this relatively slow weekend, raking in $19 million. The figure was a few million below projected hauls. However, despite getting panned by critics, the flick also grossed a healthy $25 million overseas, placing third on the international charts, and is well on its way to recouping its $50 million budget. Witch Hunters is set for a late February release in the UK.

Holdovers dominated the next few spots on the US charts. Guillermo del Toro horror movie Mama ranked second with $12.9 million, representing a 55% drop from its debut last weekend, which, though steep, is standard for the genre. Silver Linings Playbook took the third spot with $10 million, only off 7% from last weekend, indicating excellent word-of-mouth for the Best Picture Oscar contender. Fellow Best Picture Oscar nominee Zero Dark Thirty took fourth place with $9.8 million.

Action thriller Parker starring Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez only managed $7 million, settling at fifth place in its opening weekend. It’s bad news for Jason Statham, whose last starring vehicle Safe premiered to just $7.9 million last year. Parker opens in the UK early March.

Django Unchained ranked sixth in the US with $5.5 million in its fifth week of release. Overseas, the slave revenge epic continued to soar, securing first place on the international charts with $42.9 million.

The weekend’s biggest disappointment was Movie 43, starring, among others, Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Anna Faris, and Halle Berry, which opened to just $5 million at seventh place in the US. Luckily for the producers, the vignette-style comedy spoof cost only $6 million to make. Still, it is clear that audiences were less than enticed by the experiment.

Next in the US were crime thrillers Gangster Squad, eighth with $4.2 million, and Broken City, ninth with $4 million in its second weekend.

Les Miserables ranked tenth in the US, earning $3.9 million. Internationally, it ranked fifth, taking in $14 million and catapulting past the $300 million mark worldwide with $312.9 million so far. This means Les Mis has surpassed Chicago as the third-highest-earning musical of all time, behind only Mamma Mia! ($609.8 million) and Grease ($395 million).

Also in the international top five was Skyfall, ranking second with $35.4 million thanks to a massive resurgence after being released widely in China, its last major market. The latest Bond installment now ranks eighth for all-time worldwide earnings with $1.08 billion. Life of Pi placed fourth internationally, taking in $17.5 million.

Next weekend’s US openings include Sylvester Stallone-starring Bullet to the Head and zombie drama Warm Bodies. In the UK, Bullet to the Head, Hyde Park on Hudson, and Flight, starring Denzel Washington in an Oscar-nominated performance, will make their debuts.

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